Seattle Palestine Solidarity Committee

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SEATTLE DIVEST FROM ISRAEL'S MILITARY OCCUPATION

WHY DIVESTMENT?

Both Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in peace, independence and security. If we want peace and justice in Israel/Palestine, we must support both Israeli and Palestinian claims to statehood and self-determination. We must also penetrate the veil of misinformation that surrounds this conflict, misrepresenting it as a religious war, an ancient conflict, or a battle between two equal sides. It is not an equal battle. One side has power over the other, and has imposed a military occupation for over 35 years. We currently have municipal public funds invested in companies that support that military occupation, and the time has come for that to end.

Since 1967, over three million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have lived in a state of apartheid under Israeli military occupation. Under occupation, Palestinians have no right to vote, no freedom of speech or assembly or movement. They can be arrested and imprisoned indefinitely without charge or trial. They are routinely subject to torture in prison. Israeli soldiers and civilians attack and murder them with relative impunity. According to the US State Department's Country Reports, the Israeli army targets civilians even when soldiers are not in imminent danger. Amnesty International is concerned that the main aim of the Israeli army's conduct "is to collectively punish all Palestinians," stressing that the Israeli army has taken actions which amount to war crimes.

No peace talks have offered Palestinians independence. No peace talks have stopped Israel from continuing to build settlements for Israeli citizens inside the Occupied Territories. Several Israeli generals have agreed that these settlements serve no purpose for the defense or security of Israel. As former President Jimmy Carter has observed, this ongoing process of colonizing occupied land for an Israeli population is an egregious and destabilizing obstacle to peace in the region. Our political and financial support of these activities only makes more violence inevitable.

The military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is illegal under the UN Charter and 4th Geneva Convention, which not only forbid the acquisition of land by force, but also forbid the occupying power from moving its own population into occupied territories. As parties to the Geneva Convention, both the United States and Israel are compelled to "respect and ensure respect for" the Convention. The US therefore has an affirmative duty under international law to see that the illegal occupation ends. Under domestic law also, the US should not be supporting the Israeli occupation. Both the US Foreign Assistance Act and Arms Export Control Act forbid selling weapons or giving financial support to countries that engage in consistent patterns of gross violations of human rights.

The Israeli military occupation, which denies human rights based on ethnicity, is a moral outrage as well. We would not support torture if it occurred in front of us, and conscience demands that we not support it anywhere. We would not support apartheid in South Africa or in the Jim Crow South of our own country, and conscience demands that we not support it when it happens in Israel/Palestine.

Through its Retirement Pension Funds for city employees, the City of Seattle invests in several corporations that sell military equipment to the Israeli army for use in the Occupied Territories. These companies sell equipment used to brutalize and kill people. Our divestment campaign focuses on seven such companies:

Caterpillar sells armored bulldozers which are used to demolish homes and uproot olive trees.
United Technologies makes Blackhawk helicopters which attack Palestinian buildings and civilians.
General Dynamics makes the 20mm guns for F16 jets.
Boeing sells AH64 Apache Helicopters which kill Palestinian civilians.
General Electric makes engines for the Apache Helicopters.
Northrop Grumman makes radars and weapons systems.
Oshkosh Truck Corporation makes tactical military trucks.
We are not calling for a boycott of all Israeli companies, or of all companies that do business with Israel. Our demand is specific: withdraw financial support from companies that sell equipment to Israel's military occupation, and send a clear signal that Seattle does not support illegal or immoral actions, at home or abroad.

The City of Seattle's Retirement Pension Fund has only one mandate for investment: fiduciary responsibility. We support that mandate and believe that a fiduciary duty includes ensuring that public funds do not support racism, torture or apartheid. The Israeli Occupation is both illegal and immoral, and we call on the City of Seattle not to use public funds to support acts that shock the conscience.

Divestment from Israeli military occupation is not only a moral imperative. It is an opportunity. It is one of many ways we must demand a future built on justice and peace, not only for the peoples of the Middle East but for ourselves as well.

SEATTLE DIVEST FROM ISRAELI MILITARY OCCUPATION
for more information contact Palestine Solidarity Committee
(206) 633-1086
palestinejustice@aol.com

WAYS TO JOIN the Seattle Divest from Israeli Military Occupation Campaign
The Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is not a narrow political issue.
It is a legal and moral outrage which our public funds are supporting.

Our goal:

to approach the City of Seattle with a broad and united community of concern, demanding that our public funds be spent in support of human rights and wellbeing, not in support of apartheid and dictatorship.
Your group can support the campaign to divest from Israeli apartheid by:

Phase I
endorsing the campaign so your name is used in campaign literature
appointing a divestment liaison & sending the liaison to our strategy meetings
passing a resolution supporting divestment
also by:
donating money
getting other groups and individuals involved
hosting informational meetings about Palestine and divestment

Phase II
joining us in our meetings with public officials
joining a letter-writing campaign to City Council and the Mayor
sending pre-printed postcards to City Council and the Mayor
placing ads in the papers
phoning City Council and the Mayor and asking them to divest
demanding divestment at Town Halls, on radio shows, and at City Council meetings
Ask the City of Seattle to divest from these corporations:

GENERAL ELECTRIC
Aircraft Engines have had presence in Israel since 1968. GE Aircraft Engines supports the Israeli Air Force propulsion systems on a long list of aircraft including: F-16 Falcon Fighters, F-4 Phantom fighters, Israel made Kfir, CH-53 heavy lift helicopter, AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter and the Sahar 5 gunboat. General Electric- parts for HELLFIRE II laser missiles, T-700 and 701C jet engines, and propulsion systems for attack helicopters used in the occupied territories.

UNITED TECHNOLOGIES

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, sells Israel U.S. armaments used to destroy Palestinian cities and perform political assassinations of Palestinian civilians from the sky. Sold 15 Blackhawk helicopters to Israel in 1997, has contracts for 25 helicopters in 2002. Major arms contractor with Israel. Was charged in 1997 of diverting US aid to Israel into a slush fund for an Israeli Air Force officer. "Our company's relationship of more than 40 years with Israel is a source of pride," said Sikorsky President Dean Borgman in a February 1, 2001 press release while announcing his firm was awarded a $211.8 million contract with the Israeli Air Force.

BOEING

Missile systems, F-15 software, Longbow Fire Control radar, Apache Helicopters, Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) a guided air-to-surface weapon Boeing's Apache Longbow helicopter is the U.S. Army's most advanced attack helicopter. The Apaches are equipped with the Hellfire missile system, produced by Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control in Orlando, Fla. One of these missiles killed local Palestinian leader Hussein Abayat along with two women standing nearby, in the second of half of October 2000.

CATERPILLAR

Armored D9 bulldozers used for destroying Palestinian homes in Jenin and elsewhere In Jenin at least 140 buildings were completely leveled -- many of them multi-family dwellings --while over 200 others were severely damaged, leaving an estimated 4,000 people, more than a quarter of the camp's population, homeless. During one of Israel's home demolition campaigns—morbidly entitled "Operation Enjoyable Song"—more than 32 shelters, housing some 400 people, were demolished April 11, 2001.

GENERAL DYNAMICS

Approximately one thousand M60A3 Main Battle Tanks, originally manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems, were supplied to Israel. General Dynamics Armament Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), has been awarded contract from the U.S. Army for the production of 44 Reactive Armor vehicle sets under a licensing agreement with Rafael Armament Development Authority of Haifa. Sells the F16 Fighting Falcon Jets to Israel. F16 is capable of Mach 2+, can be armed with three-barrel cannon with 515 rounds; up to 9,276 kilograms (20,450 pounds) of ordinance including: nuclear weapons, ASMs, AAMs, anti-radar missiles, anti-ship missiles, free-fall or guided bombs, cluster bombs, dispenser weapons, rocket launchers, napalm tanks, drop tanks and ECM pods, carried on nine external hardpoints.

NORTHROP GRUMMAN

has launched a bid to acquire TRW Systems in a hostile takeover that could cost $6 billion. TRW is the prime contractor of the Tactical High Energy Laser in a joint U.S. project with Israel. Northop is the manufacturer of the Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle, which is being examined by Israel in a joint venture for its missile defense efforts. Northrop makes warships for Israel such the SA'AR 5 Multi-Mission Corvette loaded with Boeing Harpoon surface to air missiles with a warhead of 227 KG and the BARAK anti-air missile system.

OSHKOSH TRUCK CORPORATION

Supplies Mobility Tactical Trucks to Israeli Military.

SEATTLE DIVEST FROM ISRAELI MILITARY OCCUPATION
for more information contact Palestine Solidarity Committee
(206) 633-1086
palestinejustice@aol.com